Life is a Balancing Act

Work Life Balance Signpost Showing Career And Leisure Harmony

Balance…we need it.  We want it.  We crave it.  Often, we can’t find it.

Our lives are crazy with work, family, friendships, intellectual pursuits, personal interests, church, community work, events…and the list goes on and on.  We know we must balance the craziness if we are to find peace and joy in any of it.  We look for pockets in our day to be still, quiet, to find some “me” time.  We try to find uninterrupted moments to nurture our interests and hobbies.  We try to plan at least 1 vacation a year to do nothing, to refresh, rejuvenate so we can have enough fortitude to jump back into life.

Often, all that is elusive…the Saturday you had set aside to do that craft project is interrupted by a last minute family event.  Your week at the beach is cut down to 2 days because work is just too busy to get away for longer.  And that novel sitting by your bedside is still begging to be read…no time, no balance.

Insight hit me once again in yoga practice.  There I was standing firmly on my right leg, my left leg resting on my shin…arms outstretched, eyes focused on the wall in front of me.  The room was dim, music softly playing; everything was conduicive to finding balance.  As I settled into my pose to find the stillness, my right leg wiggled.  I closed my eyes and leaned a little to the left to compensate. I concentrated harder.  There, I was balancing.  Completely still. Then my hips started to throw me off kilter, then my shoulders, soon my left leg came crashing down.  Let’s try this again.  Let’s be still.  Let’s balance.  Darn it, I can do this!  BE STILL!!!!

As I WILLED myself to be calm, to obtain balance at all costs, the instruction came to embrace the struggle. …that balance isn’t about stillness.  It isn’t seeking to fight off movement in attempts to “will” perfect quiet.  It’s not even about a lack of movement; it’s acknowledging the movement and responding to it.  It’s working WITH the flux and flow and finding balance in the MIDDLE of that.

So often we demand “either” “or”…either we are still and balanced OR we are crazy with activity.  Either we are happy and fulfilled OR we are sad and discouraged.  Either we are confident in our path and decisions OR we are lost and confused.  And how frustrated do we feel when we can’t fully obtain the better option?

What if we don’t seek absolutes?  What if we can be joyous about certain aspects of our life and uncertain about others?  What if we are clear that we are on the right path AND we are a bit apprehensive because we can’t see what’s ahead?

Maybe that’s what balance is all about…not demanding perfection; rather learning to accept and work within the movement of our life.  Maybe it’s not about taming the crazy motion, it’s about embracing the unforced rhythms of grace and moving with them to where we are meant to go.

That actually sounds easier than finding time in our week to do nothing.  May you find balance in the middle of your crazy, hectic, fabulous, wonderful life.

Comment (1)

  1. Michael Kobus

    The line that really got me, “And how frustrated do we feel when we can’t fully obtain the better option?”. Elaine and I always camp, and we look for the perfect campsite. No sooner than after we find the perfect campsite and get all set up, we find that there was another campsite that was even more perfect. And then we play the ,”would have, should have, could have, game”. “If we would have camped there, we wouldn’t be next to these loud mouthed people.” “We could have camped there if we were here earlier’. “We should have just stayed home and worked in the yard.” The fact is we will never find the perfect campsite. Challenge is to make the best of your imperfect campsite.


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